13 Sep 2012

Indicator suggests economy will continue to muddle along

7:14 am on 13 September 2012

The ANZ Truckometer, a new monthly economic indicator, suggests the economy will continue to muddle along.

It uses traffic volume data published by the New Zealand Transport Agency to map quarterly GDP growth.

The heavy traffic index rebounded in August, rising 1.3%, suggesting steady, if unspectacular, growth through the middle of the year, helped by stronger dairy production in May.

The light traffic index, which is supposed to give a six month lead of economic growth, jumped 1.8%, indicating weak growth in the September quarter, while it's more optimistic about the final three months of the year.

Overall, ANZ senior economist Sharon Zollner said the trend has been flat which, perhaps, reflected the ongoing pressure on consumers to pay back debt.